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HMAV Bounty and the Bligh-Campbell connection: Further aspects of the crewing of Bounty: Lack of merchant interest in Pacific opportunities: After Bligh's open boat voyage: Duncan Campbell hears of the mutiny on HMAV Bounty: The return of William Bligh: Fletcher Christian's family attacked: Heywood's faux pas: Lady Penrhyn, alderman Macaulay and Tahiti: Lady Penrhyn's secret orders: Bligh and Blackheath Freemasonry:

 

The Blackheath Connection

Chapter 37

 

HMAV Bounty and the Bligh-Campbell Connection

 

      Hinton East was a botanically-minded receiver-general on Jamaica.  East, ([1]) writing to Joseph Banks in July, 1784, had asserted the "infinite importance" of breadfruit to the West Indies. ([2]) East hoped the Assembly of Jamaica would again take steps to re-awaken English interest in breadfruit... cloaked in botanical "motives", the search would be mounted for cost effectiveness in feeding slaves of the Caribbean.

 

     Political disturbances wracked Jamaica during 1787, and yet another hurricane caused damage of £50,000. Both Campbell and Banks would have known of this. West India planters must have been worried, since slaves - property, not people - were starving. ([3]) There was also the problem of the dispute between Britain and the United States over the West Indian carrying trade.

 

       No records or even opinions have even been sighted to the effect that Campbell and Banks were acquainted in such a way that led them to meet even irregularly, although after 1777, Banks and Solander had helped set up a hulks hospital. Much is unclear and imprecise concerning Banks' promotion of Bligh for the voyage, as it is concerning Campbell's part in proceedings. It is also necessary to consider the not-informal business of retrieving Bligh from the West India mercantile and arranging his re-entry into the navy, whilst Bligh himself was unaware of proceedings.

 

Further aspects of the crewing of Bounty:

 

      Thomas Douglas (or, Hamilton-Douglas), fourth Earl Selkirk, of St Mary's Isle, a friend of Bethams on the Isle of Man, complained on 14 September of the complement of Bounty, as Bligh had refused to take out his son, Dunbar Douglas. ([4]) Bligh told Selkirk that Lord Howe had fixed the complement of the ship. Richard Betham too desired Bligh to take out Dunbar Douglas, and the fellow had just arrived from the West Indies in time to go out. Betham had written, "and I hope my Lord Selkirk will allow him [to go], as it will give you [Bligh], the pleasure to be the means of his [Dunbar's] promotion." Betham wrote to Bligh on Dunbar Douglas on September 21. This was an "opportunity' Bligh forcefully declined. ([5])

 

      News that Campbell was close to matters for the crewing of the breadfruit ship had perhaps gotten about in some circles! Campbell was in receipt of a request from John Sheppard at Gravesend (who may have been a mastmaker), that Sheppard's son go on Lynx/breadfruit ship as gunner. Actually, whether Sheppard wanted his son to go on the breadfruit voyage, or merely wanted him on Campbell's Jamaica ship Lynx, is not clear. Campbell when Lynx had been rejected for the breadfruit voyage put her in command of Capt. Ruthven. Interpretation of Campbell's reply to Sheppard might depend on why Campbell might have needed a gunner for Lynx, if she was only to continue sailing to Jamaica. Campbell wrote:

 

Campbell Letter 163:

                           London 21 Sept 1787

Mr John Sheppard

Gravesend

         I have been from home for a week past and did not receive your Letter till this morng. I have to serve a Young Gentleman altered my intentions in disposing of the Lynx & have given the Command of that Ship to Capt Ruthven. As you seem to prefer sending your son in that ship I shall desire Capt Ruthven to take him out as his Gunner. When I proposed his going with Bligh I did it on a principle which I thought might turn out to his advantage in the end if it pleased God to bring him safe back. Risques all that go to Sea must Run but nevertheless any services in my power he shall from his Connexions & his own Merit be welcome to I am ([6])

 

     Three-masted, Bethia, had been built in Hull in 1784 or 1785. Her carrying capacity was 215 tons. Length, 90 feet. Beam, 24 feet. Deepest in the hold, she was 10 feet three inches, under the beam at the main hatchway. And pretty, with a figure head of a woman in a riding habit. ([7]) The proposed breadfruit voyage was common knowledge to those who had recently begun thinking about the Pacific. Arthur Phillip at Rio de Janeiro on 2  September, 1787, with the First Fleet, wrote to Evan Nepean, "[those] articles will, I hope, be sent out with the ship that goes for the breadfruit." ([8]) The advertisement for tenders for the breadfruit voyage had only been published on 10 May, three days before the First Fleet sailed from Portsmouth.

 

     By 9 September, 1787, a more complex plan had emerged for fitting up two ships ex-NSW, one for China, one for India, promoted by West India merchant Benjamin Vaughan. ([9]) Vaughan was an influential member of the West India Lobby group (he had probably met Jefferson in March-April 1786). In 1784 he was a member of the Certificate Committee of the West Indian Planters and Merchants meeting at the London Tavern. Vaughan was on their select committee in May 1785, and on the standing  committee in December 1787. Three other Vaughans were also associated with the standing committee about then. ([10]) Given the number of Campbells on Jamaica, the absence of the name Campbell from names of the London-based West India lobby groups remains intriguing.

 

     Bligh began to crew Bounty and found in Richard Betham a "helpful" father-in-law. Peter Heywood, whose father had been steward of the Duke of Atholl and Deemster of the Isle of Man, whose uncle was Sir Thomas Pasley in the navy, had his appointment to Bounty procured by Betham. ([11]) John Hallet was a brother of Anne Hallet, a friend of Bligh's wife, Elizabeth. John Hallett of Hythe, near Southampton, father of John, on 25 August wrote to Banks thanking him for procuring his son's appointment to Bounty.  ([12]) The boy Hallet was willing to come to London immediately if Bligh thought such was necessary. William Peckover, who had been gunner on Cook's Discovery, third voyage, became gunner of Bounty. Alex Smith alias John Adams, was son of a Thames lighterman. Edward Young, nephew of Captain Sir George Young, was also a protégé of Banks, and was known to Peter Heywood. ([13])

 

*   *   *

 

Lack of merchant interest in Pacific opportunities:

 

     By October 1787, the familiar signs of overcrowding and disease were again seen in the British jails. Scotland was also complaining about a jails crisis. ([14]) Another hulk was arranged for 230 convicts. Campbell from Blackheath wrote to Nepean on 20 October, 1787 recognizing the gaols and hulks are becoming overcrowded. The new hulk Chatam was planned, as part of routine administration. At this time, all vittling and stores had been placed on Bounty, by 9 October. Later, Lord Howe, who had promised to look after Bligh's promotion if the voyage went well, visited Bligh at Deptford and flippantly suggested that Bligh take a cask of wine aboard at Teneriffe and mature it by circumnavigation for Joseph Banks. On 15 October, Bligh sent his family to Portsmouth for goodbyes. There was some misery, as one of his daughters had smallpox.

 

*   *    *

 

     Bounty  was at Spithead by 4 November, to wait twenty days for Howe's final orders. Bligh became increasingly impatient. On 28 November the ship's crew received two month's pay in advance. On the afternoon she left Spithead, and shortly after, Bligh was vociferous in complaint to Campbell, to whom he wrote a marvellous seaman's letter, on 10 December. ([15]) He feared he would be unable to get about Cape Horn in time. He was correct. Try mightily as he did, he failed to get around Cape Horn. The story of the mutiny, of course, is history.

 

*     *     *

 

After Bligh's open boat voyage:

 

     By October 1789, Campbell had developed a habit of going into the country more frequently. In October 1789, his son Dugald wrote from Jamaica on buying more negroe ground. After his magnificent sail to Timor, Bligh at Coupang on 19 August, 1789 ([16]) wrote to his wife, Betsy, about the mutiny: "know then, my own dear Betsy, I have lost the Bounty". ([17]) In October 1789 Bligh also wrote from Timor about Fletcher Christian and the mutiny to his wife Betsy, addressed to her c/- Duncan Campbell at the Adelphi. ([18]) That original letter is now in the care of the Mitchell Library, Sydney, and was displayed during mid-1989 when the Mitchell and the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London, were both holding exhibitions on the bicentenary of the mutiny.

 

     Bligh on 12 October, 1789 had written to Campbell from Batavia, giving an explicit and unadorned account of his experience of the mutiny... "the most severe treachery". A packet sailed on the 15th. Bligh sent his mail by it but hoped to reach home before his letters did. ([19]) There is no indication in Campbell's letters that he received Bligh's October letter from Batavia before Bligh set foot back in England.

 

       On 4 October, 1789, the officials at Exeter Gaol reported a mass break-out by 26 prisoners who had stolen firearms. On 20 October, London aldermen brooded officially yet again on the urgent need to remove convicts from Newgate, and government officials including Campbell were brooding on lists of up to 1000 convicts for the Second Fleet). ([20]) On 3 October, 1789, Grenville officially informed the Admiralty of a plan of finding a whaler base in the South Atlantic and ordered a ship to be fitted as quickly as possible, so that it could sail during winter. ([21]) Rather vaguely he wrote: ([22])... "certain Islands situated in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, and comprised within Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope, as well as some parts of the Coast of Africa, should be examined with a view to further operations". (American whalers were then operating in waters off Africa, of course to be followed by British whalers by 1791. ([23])).

 

     For the Pacific survey, the deckless boat Discovery, a new ship on the stocks at Randall and Brent's Yard at Rotherhithe, was chosen. On 7 December, 1789 her command was given to Henry Roberts, a veteran of Cook's second and third voyages. First Lt. was George Vancouver. But by various delays she did not leave until January-February, 1790. By that time, the Nootka Crisis had arisen and as "this was not a suitable time for a survey vessel to be prowling around the south Atlantic where there had already been incidents with Spain, the Discovery voyage was therefore suspended". ([24]) On 5 May, 1790, Pitt "reluctantly" asked Parliament for armaments to resist Spain, claiming it was unbearable that the extension of fisheries and navigation be resisted by the Spanish. Planning for its voyage was resumed after 24 July, 1790, once Britain and Spain had negotiated their positions on "the Nootka Sound crisis". ([25])

 

Duncan Campbell hears of the mutiny on HMAV Bounty:

 

     The social history of Britain before 1800 is laced with shocking stories of cruelty, and many such stories find their way quite naturally into the early European history of  Australia. Up till the 1930s in Australia, it was regarded by many as morbid to dwell on such stories. When it first moved onto film, the story of the mutiny on the Bounty was incorrectly thought to be associated with a brutal naval custom such as keel-hauling, hence the unwarranted reputation of Bligh as a sadistic flogger of men. On and on the stories of cruelty run...

 

     In another domain, incredible as it seems today, because of the way the Bligh legend has been written, Campbell in London on 6 January, 1790 was writing to his son Dugald hoping that his youngest son, (Little Duncan, aged nine) then on Jamaica, would be coming back to London with Bligh on Bounty. This was to be a very cheerful private use of a king's armed vessel, indeed!

 

Little Duncan's return was hoped-for fondly...

 

Campbell Letter 164:

                          London 6 Jan 1790

Dugald Campbell, Jamaica -

                            .....Since the above, I had had the great satisfaction of receiving my Dear Dugald's Letters of the 11 & 27 Oct, the favourable Accounts of the Weather therein conveyed was a very pleasing circumstance to me. I have read with attention that part of your letter touching the purchase of 60 or 70 Acres additional of Negroe Ground, adjoining to that of Saltspring, which you seem to think may be bought a Bargain. ... I have referred also to Mr brown's letter on the head of such a purchase & his letter seems to me to be very much to the purpose. ....

   I will however contrary to my inclinations, to the laying out of further money in Jamaica, agree to the purchasing 60 or 70 Acres of the land which you so strongly recommend .... I have told him [Mr Brown] of my intention of giving you the sole management of my Jamaican Affairs, which I trust he will receive with becoming propriety .... I observe what you say about sending Duncan home with Bligh should he arrive in time. I am not so clear that Duncan will now at so early a period benefit by the change - he is not come the length of Nautical observations, nor will he be so well informed in Loading and Stowing a ship as in the Lynx now be so well accomodated: if however the departure of the two Ships was to happen nearly at the same time, in that case I should have no objection to Duncan coming home in the Bounty.

                ......Shift on your Account in the Britannia Capt Lamb. ([26])< /p>

 

 

     Writing to Dugald on 3 February, 1790, a month before he found out what had happened to Bligh, Campbell began:

Campbell Letter 165:

                 London 3 February 1790

To Dugald Campbell, Jamaica

......our prospect of evading storms which have on so many occassions blasted our hopes of a Crop at Saltg. ... I am glad to observe you are making the necessary exertions for succeeding Crops, I hope & trust with less attending expences. The quantity you expect this year I hope may be increased without overworking your Negroes, which is at all times to be avoided, as well from motives of humanity, as real benefit to our Interests. The folks who are for promoting the abolition of the Slave Trade, have now taken it up with as much Zeal as in the last Sessions: yet I cannot say I have no so great fear as many of my friends here seem to have; my relyance is than on the Ultimate Mature & important deliberations of the Legislature such dangerous consequences will open to their view affecting the Wealth and Commerce of their Country, as must call forth the Wisdom of Parliament to prevent so unpolitick an event from taking place. I have perused your letter of the 9 Nov to your Uncle Neil...[who had just died]

I shall begin to look on the Account of Duncan's arriving every day. Tho I have heard of Jack being safe arrived at Madrass, & being on the best terms with his Capt; yet I have no letter from himself; he has an arduous task on his hands. By the Accounts from Madrass the Chief Mate is mending but slowly. I think the Valentine is now on her passage home, & I flatter myself with the hope of seeing Jack in all May. ([27]) ([28]) ([29])< /p>

 

     Campbell was considering giving Dugald the sole management of Saltspring. ([30]) Bligh's probable landing soon at Jamaica had been referred to in an earlier letter to Dugald - the assumption of course being there had been no interruption to Bounty's breadfruit voyage. Campbell did not feel that such an unpolitic event as the abolition of slavery, could in the wisdom of Parliament, occur.

 

       Otherwise, Campbell was dubious about little Duncan coming home with Bligh on Bounty, as the lad might learn less, commercially. Unless perchance, Bounty  left Jamaica in company with Lynx. Campbell directed Dugald to shift his own account in Britannia Capt. Lamb. As Campbell later found, Dugald had intended to put Little  Duncan on Bounty for his voyage home... And there is no indication from Campbell's letters here that he had received Bligh's October letter to him from Batavia, before Bligh set foot back in England.

 

*     *     *

 

The return of William Bligh:

 

Bligh's first care had never been managing men.

Let him be given the waves and the winds and here

were the balance of his abilities.

... thinking disgusted on Englishmen and Manxman,

abrupted out of assumptions of family

and Whitehall, washing the drift of it over and over,

almost ready to heave the tiller about

for Darien, the navel of the world.

... A puzzle.

Could keep us talking round new Holland and to here.

.... But Bligh got home,

and sometimes, with the poker of prying questions,

a slack delightless host would stir the very

embers of memory, and after, in his sleep,

how Isle of Man, ahoy went fending along

long lobbies of the chronicles of England..,

...all through the watches of God, yet there they were

turning the mysteries of history to mutiny

Bligh on the sea is a brash of the weather we brew.

 

                               J. M. Couper, The Book of Bligh. Melbourne University Press, 1969.

 

        And shortly, Campbell was visited by an angry Pacific hurricane. Bligh arrived back in England on 14 March, 1790, at the Isle of Wight, from Batavia via the Cape on the ship Vlydte. ([31]) Already he had written heart-broken letters to his wife, Betsy, and to Campbell, about losing Bounty. Soon he was on Campbell's Adelphi doorstep. Curiously, Campbell does not seem to have been upset about the outcome of the voyage, nor does he seem to have had any anxiety about any loss of face, as with The Royal Society, or the Society of Arts, or before West India merchants, due to the mutiny. The expression of outrage, it seems, was mostly left to Bligh.

 

     The sensation caused when Bligh returned home greatly disturbed the development of an accurate picture of the Pacific's maritime history to date. The events of 1789, including Britain's decision to further pursue its creation of a convict colony by raising the NSW Corps and sending the Second Fleet, had much to do with the way both Australia, and Tahiti, were entered into international consciousness - and here one does not mean only European consciousness. Tahiti entered "history" because of Cook's first voyage of exploration, then with the Bounty voyage, plus some contacts by the French and Spanish, but not including the visit by Lady Penrhyn. Breadfruit was anyway destined to be ignored by slaves. ([32]) Was there anything that Bligh's 1930s biographer, Mackaness, ([33]) or others, may not have known about? ([34])

 

        Campbell when he heard the news of the mutiny took it apparently calmly: no apoplexy. His sister Molly's son, Dr Campbell Betham, had recently graduated in medicine from the University of Edinburgh, then gone to Whitehaven to begin his practice. ([35]) Molly's husband, Bligh's father-in-law, Richard Betham, had died about 31 May, 1789. ([36])

 

     According to records on the Isle of Man and other information in the Campbell Letterbooks, Betham was certainly deceased by late 1789. His will, with one Robert Heywood assisting the executors, was dated 31 March, 1787. A document at the Isle of Man archives has someone applying for his post, as Betham was deceased, on 31 May, 1789. Betham's will was probated about 24 June, 1789. Some fresh aspects of  Manx background came to the fore with the defence of the mutineers and their reputations.

 

      Campbell about the time Bligh returned was, initially at least, more interested in helping the Betham children with the execution of their father's will, and he wrote about the Betham estate to Dr Campbell Betham at Whitehaven. ([37]) Betham's will was a little peculiar. ([38]) Betham had not become wealthy and his wife Molly had predeceased him. (Curiously, Molly was never mentioned in her brother Duncan's letters to Richard). Betham had given a pledge for the payment of debts and legacies, to Robert Telly and Robert Heywood Esquire, both of Douglas, the Isle of Man. Betham gave everything to his daughter Anne and his son Campbell the young doctor, exceptions noted in codicils, should he have written them. There was nothing for Harriott Colden or her two sons, and oddly enough, nothing for Bligh's wife, Elizabeth.

 

Campbell Letter 166:

                        London March 19, 1790

Dr Campbell Betham

Whitehaven

                  I receive your letter of the 15th Inst - advising me of your having taken up your residence at Whitehaven & of your intentions to practice & for aspect of success in that place, which gives me much satisfaction. Nothing can contribute to that success more than a minute attention to your demeanour and address. Levity in every situation of Life is disgusting, but more particularly so in a Man of your profession. Let me convince you therefore to adopt a deportment suitable to the character you profess. & to study by all means to get into the good graces of the old ladies even more than the young, those of the last will naturally follow the first, to accomplish this you must yourself study the Graces. A Well bred Man will always meet with attention and respect. I send you herewith the Deed which you and your sister will sign, first filling up the dates in words, & return it to me as soon after as you please, you may draw for the money. I observe what you say as to the money you suppose to be owing to Mr. Kinlock. It was me who paid your Bill, but that you will settle when you can better afford it. I send you herewith a few letters the purport of which you will see by perusal, afterwards seal and deliver them or not as you may seem best. I think they can do no harm & may be of some service to you. Poor Bligh has come home without his Bounty, but I trust & hope his conduct will be so rewarded that upon the whole he will suffer but little. All my family desire to be remembered to you -            I am ([39])< /p>

 

     But it may have been that young Dr Betham was given to levity, and Duncan himself a little depressed. Duncan's brother Neil had died aged 66 on 23 February, previous, buried the 27th in Plumstead Churchyard. Yet, Campbell was shortly involved with Bligh's propagandising for a suitably vindicating aftermath to the mutiny. It is also not known if Campbell had ever met his employee, Fletcher Christian. Why did Campbell take the news so quietly? As a man long-experienced in employing ships captains, he may not have been so impressed with Bligh's personality, and hence unsurprised at hearing of a mutiny? He may not have cared greatly whether the voyage had been a success or a failure, but this seems unlikely.

 

    Another reason is possible for reticence from Campbell. At the time in London, representatives of slaving interests in Parliament were defending their industries, claiming that the mortality of slaves on the Middle Passage was not as large as the loss in the transportation of British convicts! One does not imagine Campbell would have wished to buy into that argument, since he would have drawn attention to himself as the major convict contractor operating from London till 1775, whilst it was his policy as hulks overseer to avoid publicity at all costs. The death rate on convict ships to North American was normally about one-in-seven.

 

      At the time, because of the healthiness of the First Fleet, the mortality rate of that Fleet had caused no comment. At the time, the death rate of the Second Fleet was unknown? The only death rates for transportation that could have been referred to were the rates known for before 1775. One doubts Campbell would have liked his associates to be reminded of that aspect of his career. Since the Bounty project had long been promoted by slaving interests, as the mutiny story hit the headlines, it might well have been that Campbell stayed out of matters as far as possible, in order primarily to keep mention of himself and the hulks out of the newspapers.

 

     If Campbell did feel that any of his prestige had been damaged in public because of the mutiny, he had other reasons to lie low. A nobody named Fletcher Christian - his former employee - had taken a king's ship, generating indignation amongst officials. The Royal Society was scarcely amused, though strangely, historians of the mutiny have only canvassed Banks' views. Finally, George III and the navy sent off HM Pandora on a punitive expedition to capture the mutineers. Campbell may well have felt that anything he might say would be quite superfluous. On the evidence of his Letterbooks, however, he took the news calmly. He had a practical task to hand - helping Betsy Bligh, her sisters and her brother - execute their father's will and organise his estate. Also, the British Creditors were meeting again.

 

    Whatever Campbell thought about the mutiny, he did become keen to see Bligh's words published. The aftermath of the Bounty mutiny has been treated with remarkable passion, more than was ever warranted. Generations of writers have exercised their wits on the legends, screen writers have agonised over niceness of portrayal, and many have wondered why Bligh's personality was so much a magnet for mutiny. Bligh certainly deserves a place in maritime history for his magnificent open boat voyage to Timor. Yet it also seems that Campbell never again alluded to the mutiny in family letters written after the early 1790s.

 

      One Londoner who knew Jamaica was keen to know more about the mutiny. At the time, Campbell was associated with the London charity for Scots, the Scottish Corporation. On 17 March, Bligh was presented to George III in company with Sir Joseph Banks. The same day, Campbell wrote to a man who had nominated him (Campbell) for a seat on the board of a charity for indigent London Scots, the Scottish Corporation, a charity chartered by Charles II for the relief of poor natives of North Britain not entitled to any parochial relief in England. This was Lt. General Melville of Brewer St., who invited Campbell to dine with him on the 20th. Melville, who was a member of the West India merchants' lobby group, was curious about news of Bligh's return and may have wanted to report to the lobby group. So he invited Campbell to dinner? That same day, 17 March, Campbell replied to Melville, ([40]) declining the  invitation, as on the 20th he had to chair a meeting of the British Creditors.

 

Campbell Letter 167:

                   Adelphi 17th March, 1790

Lieut. Gen. Melville      Brewer Street

         I had the honour to receive your very polite letter & kind Card of invitation to dine at Brewer Street on Sunday on which day being engaged I am deprived of the pleasure of waiting upon you. The approbation you are pleased to express of the little services I have been enabled to render the Scottish Corporation is very flattering to me. I cheerfully accept the honour done by me by your Nomination & will endeavour to merit a continuance of your favourable opinion in the execution of that office to which you have recommended me. With great Respect and Regard I have the honor to be                                     Dear Sir ([41])< /p>

 

     Presumably this was the same Melville, the inventor of the carronade gun, whose gardens at St. Vincent were intended to house transplanted breadfruit. ([42]) (Mention of Melville here means some other cross-links of information can be considered. One merchant inconvenienced by the American Revolution had been Charles Gore of Liverpool. ([43])

 

     For the duration of disturbances, 1774-1783, Gore kept a set of letterbooks now in an American archive. Two of Gore's correspondents were Bamber Gascoyne; and Richard Pennant, Lord Penrhyn, leader of the West India lobby group. Bamber Gascoyne was concerned with the Carron Company of Stirlingshire, manufacturers of the carronade gun invented by Melville.)

 

Campbell and the British Creditors rebuffed

 

       The British Creditors' committee met again on 22 February, 1790 with Grenville, and with Pitt on 20 March, 1790, with no success. The debate went on until the conclusion of the Jay treaty in 1794. Meanwhile, William Bligh was baying loudly at the moon of Fletcher Christian's betrayal.

 

Fletcher Christian's family attacked:

 

      By 29 March, 1790, there was gossip in London - an unequivocal, low-down attack on Christian's family  -  about the mutiny - "The perpetrator of the outrages committed on board the Bounty armed ship is of respectable connections; his mother is a worthy woman and lives on the Isle of Man. He has two brothers resident in London, both respectable characters, and of legal professions". ([44])

 

        1 April: The London Chronicle announced that Bligh's journal of his escape at sea in an open boat for 49 would soon be published by authority of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. (It is said that initially with the mutiny, Bligh found the navy unsympathetic to his cause, and could not even be reimbursed for loss of his books that helped Fletcher Christian find the mis-charted Pitcairn Island. What tipped the balance in his favour? The King's favour? ([45])

 

Heywood's faux pas:

 

      Bligh to save himself had to righteously damn the mutineers. He wrote on 2 April, 1790, to Peter Heywood's mother, "His baseness is beyond all description". Hard and unforgiving words to a mother in fear of the man who would accuse her son of mutiny on a king's ship. It is unfortunate that Betham had died; he might well have been a wise and moderating voice in the mutiny aftermath. And later, on 20 June, 1792, Peter Heywood when he got back to England to be tried, wrote too impetuously to a dead man. Unaware that Betham died, he wrote: "Alas, dear Sir, how unfortunate hath that voyage been to me, the prospects of which appeared so promising when your goodness was the means of placing me under the care and protection of Mr Bligh." ([46])

 

    It is better to be sure that one is not going to write to someone deceased. And it is better if any historian quoting such a misconceived letter also knew if the intended recipient was dead. Heywood became known as the man who carried a "dread secret" about Fletcher Christian to his own grave. Both Bligh and Campbell wrote to Dugald on Saltspring in Jamaica about the mutiny, early in April 1790. Campbell did not mention Fletcher Christian to Dugald, who may have known Christian. Why not is unknown.  Perhaps, if Dugald knew Christian and Bligh, reason for the falling out of friends might have been obvious-in-hindsight to Dugald? Doubtless there was some wonderment in Jamaica at Bounty's non-appearance. Dugald meantime had to send his step-brother Duncan home by Lynx, the ship on which Bligh and Christian could well have sailed to Tahiti.

 

     The mutiny story excited London. On 6 May 6 at the Royalty Theatre in Wells Street near Goodmans Fields was staged a play, The Pirates, Or, the Calamities of Capt. Bligh. ([47]) On 15 May the same theatre, extracting the utmost, boasted a new musical piece giving a hint of the exotic temptations the mutineers had succumbed to, Tar Against Perfume, Or, The Sailor Preferred. All of which was pro-Bligh propaganda, as was an  account published in The Gentleman's Magazine.

 

     On 7 May, 1790, James Matra wrote to Sir Joseph Banks of an attempted mutiny by Gray and Anderson on Cook's first voyage. ([48]) Apart from rising talk of a second breadfruit voyage, and the reactions of naval men. Campbell became enthusiastic about the publication of books stemming from the voyage, and the mutiny, and sent copies to his son Dugald in Jamaica. Campbell also became involved with Bligh's propagandising for a suitably vindicating aftermath to the mutiny. The entire affair was treated with more passion than was warranted, unless it is accepted that the preservation of British naval discipline was regarded as a matter for international policing, in an environment where policing activity was also placing convicts also on Australian soil. Bounty however had largely been crewed by Bligh and his family. Seldom in naval history does a man with family help choose the naval crew who will mutiny under him!.

 

      The reactions to the mutiny of the British Navy and its judicial arm is well recorded. Some mutineers were hung after HM Pandora Capt. Edwards, was sent out on a highly punitive expedition to scour the Pacific and find the mutineers. (Of late, Pandora, which was wrecked, has been the subject of impressive marine archaeology). True, Bounty was a king's ship, and the king in a sense had been affronted by the mutiny. Many of Bligh's family worked in a highly authoritarian atmosphere as government functionaries, and their attitudes doubtless produced a punitive view of mutineers. Bligh's abusive mouth and dominating temper doubtless provoked Christian, and others, to act against him. Bligh later was thrown off a ship at the Nore mutiny, and although he was probably morally correct as governor of New South Wales when he confronted traders there, his attitude and way of expressing it in NSW provoked further rebellion there.

 

     Bligh in short had a personality disorder which ruined his life. Given Bligh's earlier experiences in the mercantile for Campbell, it is debatable whether Bligh in NSW had a clear understanding or not of the maritime linkages and sources of profit available to the officers of the "Rum Corps". In fact, Bounty's voyage coincided with a general maritime English push into the Pacific, with London shipmen watching each other closely. Should it all be tied in together or not? Some doubts expressed here may have prompted reasons why Bligh, as governor of NSW, was nicknamed Bounty Bligh. The Australian legalist, H. V. Evatt when he scrutinised the deposition of Bligh as governor of NSW, the "rum rebellion", was unaware of Bligh's association with Campbell. ([49]) Yet Evatt frowned on the brutality of convictism and even asserted that those who are experienced in the administration of the criminal law and in the scientific management of circumstantial evidence will have trouble in supporting the more prejudiced sorts of opinions on Bligh, his character and governorship. (In the days when Evatt was writing, one opinion to be noted was the actor Charles Laughton's portrayal of Bligh as a sadistic flogger - when in fact the most brutal flogger-captain in the Pacific of the day was Vancouver). ([50]) What is remarkable is that Evatt was unaware of Campbell's career in the administration of the criminal law!

 

       Bligh on arriving home had immediately set about to put the record straight. Early on, naval authorities had expressed little interest in the affair, declining even to repay Bligh over £300 for losses by the mutiny, including loss of his library. Had Bligh not moved quickly, and as powerfully as he was able, his entire naval future could well have been ruined, and he might have ended the rest of life, unsuited as he was to the mercantile, sailing to Jamaica for Campbell. The anti-mutineer campaign set in play was a masterpiece of public relations of the day, undertaken with rage and frustration. It was also a pre-emptive strike against any forces the Christian family might be able to rally.

 

      Technically, Bligh was a superb mariner. He was also a well-meaning man with almost an artist's eye for natural beauty. But he suffered greatly from a personality disorder often expressed with a shockingly foul-tempered tongue. He was especially difficult when he was overly impressed with whatever authority had been designated him and other people's failings happened to displease him. ([51]) Such traits ill-fitted him to be a commander, and were also what made him a mediocre commercial ship's captain. Bligh may have realised that the mutiny had provided him with an opportunity to present himself as a pugnaciously professional naval man. In fact, Bligh had not been in the navy for four years before he stepped onto Bounty.

 

       But as a public relations story, the mutiny gave Bligh an opening as the naval man, adventure-loving, loyal to the King, animated by a profound abhorrence of any breach of naval discipline, any affront to the King. It was now a far cry from the day of Bligh's outrage at the mutiny, the day of the cry of the desperate emotions, almost suicidal before the mutiny, of the too-much-insulted Manxman, of Fletcher Christian, complaining at the way he had been used, "I am in hell".  It was the cry of revenge and vindication Bligh now heard -  his own cry.

 

     Meanwhile, Little Duncan arrived home by Lynx in April 1790. Later, Lynx was taken to Madras by Duncan's son, John. Later, one of the Bounty mutineers hanged was Thomas Ellison, ([52]) Campbell's favourite whom Bligh was asked to look after. By 7 April, 1790, Campbell was writing to Dugald again... Bligh was just then at Duncan's elbow and would write to Dugald:

 

Campbell Letter 168:

                 London April 7, 1790

To Dugald Campbell      Jamaica -   

      ...Boyick also sent you a copy of Bligh's letter to me with the heads of his misfortune A Narrative of his voyage from Otaheite - will speedily be published  which I will send you. Bligh is now at my Elbow & means to write you by this Packet, he expects & will certainly obtain promotion, but that cannot take place till a Court Martial is held upon him which cannot be done till the People at Batavia arrive: these are expected in all May; about that time I flatter myself with the hope of seeing Jack, ....

 

*    *    *

       Master of the Bounty, John Fryer, arrived with others in England on 7 October. Fryer  shortly went to visit a distant relative of Fletcher and Edward Christian, John Christian at No. 10 Strand, an address close to Campbell's Adelphi address. By that time, Bligh's own account of the mutiny was in the hands of Sir Joseph Banks, probably read by other Fellows and members of The Royal Society.

 

*   *    *

 

Lady Penrhyn, alderman Macaulay and Tahiti:

VD lists on HMAV Bounty:

 

       The usual naval procedure was that sailors suffering VD were charged individually for treatment by deductions from their pay. ([53]) In April 1789, men on the Bounty VD list included Cole, Purcell, Lebogue, Hillbrant, Heywood, Hall, Skinner, Smith, Christian, Burkitt, Norton, Muspratt, R. Lamb, John Smith, M. Byrne, M. Quintal, W. Brown.

 

     It has been said of Fletcher Christian, by his shipmate Lamb on a Campbell ship, that he was silly with women, easily besotted. With the Bounty VD list, speculation visits. Where did the particular infections come from? Had the Bounty sailors already been infected when they left Britain, or picked up some infection at the Cape of Good Hope? If so, did they then in turn infect the Tahitian women? Or, was it that the crew of Lady Penrhyn, (that "floating brothel" full of women plucked from the London streets) calling only weeks before Bounty arrived, had infected Tahitian women? But perhaps one would need to check Bounty's medical log for the entire voyage to be sure of matters here.

*     *    *

 

      The English historian Ged Martin has complained that historians have let First Fleet ships such as Scarborough and Lady Penrhyn "sail out into a void" after they left Sydney in May, 1788 ([54]), with the Lady's business in delivering her 101 female convicts completed. That void is in fact populated with the people of The Blackheath Connection.

 

      Over 4-7 May, 1788 the Lady Penrhyn (Capt. Sever) and Scarborough (Capt. Marshall) left Port Jackson, or Sydney, their work of delivering convicts over. The supercargo of Lady, Lt. Watts, found from his secret orders from George Macaulay he was to take command of the ship from May until whenever she completed her fur gathering about Nootka Sound. Watts guided Lady on a hitherto mysterious commercial voyage, first to Tahiti, then to China for a cargo of tea per her charter with the East India Company. Thence, home to England. ([55]) Arthur Bowes, surgeon aboard, diarised that at noon on Sunday, 18 May, 1788, Capt. Sever, Mr. Watts and himself opened "papers relative to our future destination". "The Mackenzie M'Cauly" (sic) had engaged the ship to North West America, Watts giving orders to Capt. Sever, to trade for furs, thence to China for tea as per charter. Lady  by 15 May, 1788 was off Lord Howe Isle, by 2 June at Macaulay Isle, ([56]) by 9 July, off Osnaburgh Isle. Scurvy began to bother the crew and Lt. Watts advised Capt. Sever to go to Tahiti, where the chief (Otoo, later, Tinah) was pleased to see Watts again.

 

        After Lady Penrhyn's got to Macao, HMAV Bounty got to Matavi Bay, Tahiti. We are left considering that no British ship had gone to Tahiti for years. Suddenly, in 1788, two British ships arrived there, one naval, one commercial. Significantly associated with the two ships were two men who were members of the same golf club, Campbell, Bligh's mentor,  and Macaulay, a friend of Watts! The biographies of Campbell and Macaulay and news of the Blackheath Golf Club have gone wasting. Macaulay was well-known enough in London, or at least on board Lady Penrhyn, to be familiarly referred to as "the Mackenzie M'Cauly", and be recognised by men on the ship. Seldom in history have two members of the same golf club been associated with the opening of an ocean, and still escaped attention!

 

     The mystery is: if Macaulay had been a self-promoter, and/or an influential man, how and why was he written out of the history? Was it that shipping convicts was so tainted a business that shipmen "forgot" they'd been involved? This possibility certainly does not apply to the Enderby whalers. But between May 1787 and May 1788, Macaulay, remaining in London, does not appear to have done anything resulting in his being named in the documents usually read by (Australian) historians. Though Macaulay may have been heard of again in the documents of the Corporation of the City of London, he did not surface in shipping records until there sailed from England on 26 December, 1788 his ship Pitt 775 tons Capt. Edward Manning for St Helens and Bencoolen. ([57]) Alderman Curtis meanwhile with Henry Dundas' help in 1791 wished to send another ship to Nootka Sound. (It is not known if she went). ([58]) (Note: By 1789 or later, according to Bateson, Lady Penrhyn was later purchased by Wedderburns and put on the London-Jamaica run). ([59])

 

     The tracks of the First Fleet ships have only recently been described. Scarborough ([60]) for example once she'd set out from Sydney by 4 September, 1788 was about Grafton Island, and Lema Isle; she anchored in Macao Roads on 8 September.

 

*     *     *

 

The Lady Penrhyn's secret orders:

 

        From 18 May, 1788, supercargo Watts was to order Lady Penrhyn to sail to the North West coast of America to trade for furs. At that time, J. H. Meares, sailing for the English merchants John and Cadman Etches and Co. of London, was heading for Nootka Sound. An interpretation he would have been in competition for Watts for Canton trade may be appropriate. Lady Penrhyn however did not go fur trading. One scenario is that because the crew had scurvy, she went instead to Tahiti for refreshment, then to China for tea, thence home. The other story is that her bottom was unfit to combat ice. The Tahiti connection is fascinating, and several tales arise.

 

       Surgeon Bowes recorded that between 1-6 June, 1788, Capt. Sever before reaching Tahiti named an island after his shipowner, William Curtis. Henry Ligbird Ball named the nearby Macaulay Island (raising the question, did Ball know Macaulay personally?) Historically, and geographically, these names were never to be judged as important as other English place names near Sydney - Nepean, Hawkesbury, Banks, Phillip, King, Piper. But Macaulay has not been overlooked just because Macaulay Island was forgotten. For an intelligent man who had been out with Cook, Lt. Watts has a comparatively under-publicised career. His invisibility has remained in strange harmony with Macaulay's invisibility.

 

      On 10 July, 1788 Lady Penrhyn anchored, remaining at Tahiti until 1 August, so Watts arrived there before Bligh and Bounty. Presumably, the Lady's sailors gave  Tahitian women massive doses of the pox after infection from the convict women they'd enjoyed between London and Botany Bay... hence the VD rates noticed on Bounty after she left Tahiti. Christian was one sailor requiring treatment. ([61])

 

       In London, meanwhile, Duncan Campbell would have been far more interested in recent events in the United States. Virginia at times had vainly tried to defeat the Constitution, which was finally ratified on 25 June, 1788. Not until it had been ratified could the courts deal with importunate British merchants and for example, order planters to settle with merchants such as Campbell. On 1 July, 1788, Bligh wrote to Campbell from the Cape Of Good Hope, at about which time Lady Penrhyn was at Tahiti, where the question arises: did Watts tell the Tahitians of the death of Captain Cook? Yes.  Meanwhile the Lady's bottom was examined, and found to be unfit to cope with the ice of Nootka Sound. As she had been built in 1786, and presumably was on her maiden voyage, it is surprising her bottom was so poor. Whatever prompted his decision, Watts after a three-week stay at Tahiti abandoned his Nootka orders and ordered the ship to China. ([62])

 

      Tahiti was fated for trouble, including civil war. It was due to Cook's Voyages, as book, and Bligh's breadfruit voyage, plus, the Blackheath Connection, that after 1795, English missionaries came to Tahiti on Duff. ([63]) With culture shock, disease and other problems, the birthrates on Tahiti were smashed. From the 1770s, estimates of Tahiti's population were too high, between 121,5000 and Cook's figure of 200,000. William Wilson and others from Duff in 1797 estimated many fewer, say, 16,050, and 20 years later the population was about only 6000-7000. Both the Tahitians and the missionaries knew it was happening due to the psychological impact of Europeans, various diseases including venereal infections, the latter "almost universal". Sailors brought fleas with them, some infected with typhus, known as ships fever, and whole families might be wiped out.

 

       By 8 August. Lady Penrhyn was by Penrhyn Island, named by Capt. Sever. By 15 September, by the Isle of Saypan. On 17 September she refreshed at Tinian. By 15 October she was by Grafton isle. By 19 October, she sailed up Macao Roads, readying to take her cargo of tea. About China, Lady met a ship named Talbot. ([64]) Then she came home, presumably to the enrichment of Curtis and Macaulay, and possibly William Richards. And to be remembered mainly because she had carried only women to Botany Bay, not because she represented a mystery about the tenor of London's commercial instincts in the Pacific. On Tahiti, on 26 October, 1788. Bligh entered Matavi Bay on Bounty. Bligh was later alarmed to find that Watts had told the natives that their hero, if not demi-god, Capt. Cook, was dead. ([65]) Bligh attempted to label this a "misunderstanding".

 

*    *    *

 

Bligh and Blackheath Freemasonry:

 

     1786  - The men of Blackheath naturally possessed a variety of links of a personal, social, or of a family nature. Definite business links between them, relating to New South Wales, or, (regarded quite independently, the Pacific), can be established in some cases, as in the case of the whaling promoters, Enderbys, and John St. Barbe. St. Barbe and Macaulay, who lived perhaps 200-300 yards apart at Blackheath. Some of them were Freemasons, in which context their names are locked into both the history of suburban Blackheath, as well as into the history of golfing in Britain. With others of the Blackheathites, it is difficult - if not impossible for lack of relevant facts - to establish evidence on business links which conceivably might have existed between them. Various links might have been expected, but links with Freemasonry on such a scale as they existed are an element new to anyone familiar with the shipping records.

 

      The strong links Blackheathites had with Lloyd's of London is another factor explaining background factors in the commercial exploitation of the Pacific - the Pacific was found less risky than expected, therefore less expensive, meaning... that if the Blackheath men underwrote each others' ships, as seems the case with the whalers, everybody benefited. There is a problem, however, in assessing how secret, or not, the plans of Blackheath men might have been intended to be. Were these plans intended to remain secret, then sufficient information can be gleaned from official papers - if only the Historical Records of New South Wales - for some of their plans to be outlined with reasonable clarity.

 

Considerable secrecy might have been necessary if some or all of the men of The Blackheath Connection were planning to undermine the dominance of the East India Company. A conspiracy theory here is more entertaining than it is necessary to hold. Without sorting through the implications created by a suggestion of a conspiracy organised by several merchants, one is hard put to explain our present ignorance of their intentions and activities, and so the exercise is helpful. Unless of course, there were so few London merchants interested in the Pacific that secrecy was unnecessary, those interested had no enemy but the East India Company's desire to protect its monopoly charter.

 

       Threaded through The Blackheath Connection is the mystique of Freemasonry, which in the present context might best be regarded as an earlier form of what today are called "service clubs", not any mystical, quasi-religious and also politically manipulative organisation. (Although, holding such a view may be merely a matter of taste). Freemasonry in England disputed little with government, unlike the case on the Continent, and indeed, it often supported government, institutions and Empire so strongly that in 1813, the Duke of Kent became one of England's senior Masons. In the 1780s, Masons travelling in England would have been able to meet with like-minded men for any number of reasons, including promotion of business.

 

*    *    *

 

[Finis Chapter 38]

Words 8569 words with footnotes 11083 pages 19 footnotes 65

 



[1] On Hinton East and other interested parties, see Dawson, The Banks Letters, earlier cited. Also, Glynn  Christian, Fragile Paradise, pp. 53ff; Owen Rutter, Turbulent Journey - A Life of William Bligh, Vice-Admiral of the Blue. London, Ivor Nicholson and Watson, 1936., pp 76ff.

[2] Kennedy, Bligh, p. 15 mentions Hinton East meeting Banks in London in 1786..

[3] On feeding slaves more cheaply in the West Indies in 1787: Davies, Royal Africa Company, p. 332, notes that in 1684 the Jamaicans were complaining that Gambia slaves were used to eating much flesh meat, (and were expensive), and hence would not like the diet allowed them on Jamaica.

[4] Gavin Kennedy, Bligh, p. 21 indicates Bligh in September, 1787, wrote to "Lord Selkirk", who then wrote to Banks, on the subject of manning Bounty. This fourth Earl of Selkirk thought Bligh a sad case as he might not get promotion from this command, and mentioned that Hunter, out to Botany Bay with Capt. Phillip, had received a better promotion. Selkirk's information concerning naval matters and the Pacific was keen. Selkirk also knew of Campbell as a friend of Betham, and Bligh, of course, which Kennedy may not have known. (A member of the Earl's family was later governor of the Isle of Man.) The intended Bounty sailor was Dunbar Hamilton-Douglas, (1766-1796), fourth son of fourth Earl Selkirk by Helen Hamilton, later Captain or Commander RN, who died of yellow fever about St Christophers. Dawson, Banks Letters, variously. The fourth Earl became Rector of Glasgow University not long after Duncan Campbell's father had died. GEC, Peerage, Dundonald, p. 528 ; Selkirk, pp. 618-621. Burke's Extinct for Dunbar. Burke's Peerage and Baronetage for Hamilton and also for Hope-Dunbar. Stenton, British Parliamentarians, Vol. 1, p. 253; and in Vol. 1, p. 528, Stenton registers Katherine Jane of this Hamilton-Douglas family, marrying MP Loftus Wigram, son of the convict contractor to Australia, Robert Wigram/Fitzwigram. Burke's Peerage and Baronetage for Wigram/Fitzwigram.

[5] Earl Selkirk's name is also associated with Kirkcudbrightshire. He was greatly interested in the problem of the depopulation of the Highlands and the settlement of Scots in areas of the British Empire, especially Canada.

[6] Campbell Letter No. 163: Duncan Campbell Letterbooks: Transcript from ML A3229, p. 342: Note to Campbell Letter No. 163: Campbell to John Sheppard, Gravesend, 21 Sept., 1787.  Campbell seems to have suggested that Sheppard's son be gunner on Lynx or with Bligh - on the assumption that Lynx would be accepted for the breadfruit voyage. Campbell was still prepared to see young Sheppard go on Lynx with Capt. Ruthven.  Mackaness, Life of Bligh, p. 51, p. 59, Vol. 1. See also, Richard Betham to Bligh, 21 Sept., 1787. Campbell to Nepean, 22 Aug. , 1787; 30 Aug., 1787:  Campbell to Dugald Campbell, 30 Aug., 1787. Campbell to his son Dugald in Jamaica. (Quoted from Mackaness, Life of Bligh, Vol. 1, p. 5).

[7] Mackaness, Life of Bligh, Vol. 1, p. 51.

[8] Phillip to Nepean re items to go out in the breadfruit ship, from Rio de Janeiro, 2 Sept., 1787, HRNSW, Vol. 1, part 2, p. 111.

[9] Mackay, Wake of Cook, p. 141, Note 32, citing DTC, V, fo, 247.

[10] Reference: Reel 3, microfilm, Commonwealth Institute, West India Committee Archives, Planters, 1785-1822.

[11] Montgomerie, Bligh in Fact and Fable, pp. 34, 59, 60, 86; Hough, Bligh and Christian,  variously.

[12] The crewing of Bounty is referred to in Kennedy, Bligh, pp. 19ff; Mackaness, Life of Bligh,  Vol. 1, pp. 51-59, giving Richard Betham to Bligh, 21 Sept., 1787, on Peter Heywood. Hallet to Banks, Dawson, The Banks Letters, p. 380. On young Ellison, Mackaness, Life of Bligh, Vol. 1, p. 69, Bligh to Duncan Campbell from Cape of Good Hope, nd.

[13] Montgomerie, Bligh in Fact and Fable, p. 59.

[14] Mackay, Exile, p. 22.

[15] Mackaness, Life of Bligh, Vol. 1, pp. 64ff.

[16] Kennedy, Bligh, p. 130.

[17] Quoted in Mackaness, Life Of Bligh, Vol. 1, pp. 218-219.

[18] During April 1989 was observed the bicentenary of the mutiny on the Bounty. Two exhibitions were mounted on this subject, modestly in Sydney, at the New South Wales State Public Library, and spectacularly at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London.

[19] Mackaness, Life of Bligh, Vol. 1, p. 165.

[20] Flynn, Second Fleet, p. 29.

[21] Mackay, Exile, pp. 77-79.

[22] Grenville's letter: Mackay, Exile, pp. 77ff.

[23] Rhys Richards, `Cruise of the Kingston and the Elligood', p. 43.

[24] Jackson, Whale, p. 104.

[25] Mackay, Exile, p. 79.

[26] Campbell Letter No. 164: Duncan Campbell Letterbooks, Vol. 6, ML A3230. Capt. Lamb: Edward Lamb, who had been chief mate with midshipman Fletcher Christian with Bligh on Bligh's last voyage on Campbell's Britannia to Jamaica. After the Bounty mutiny, Lamb came to Bligh's defense when Fletcher's brother,  Edward Christian, came forward to protect the name of Fletcher, accused of mutiny. Lamb felt he knew the two men and always retained a poor impression of Fletcher. Lamb's offer, dated 28 Oct., 1794, is recorded in Bligh's Narrative; Mackaness, Life of Bligh, Vol. 1, p. 46. On 1 Dec., 1790, Campbell in London wrote to his son Capt. John C of the Lynx; 1 Dec. was the birthday of Little Duncan whom John was to teach reading and navigation. Dugald was the son of his father's first wife, Rebecca. Little Duncan was Campbell's son by his second wife, Mary Mumford.

[27] Campbell Letter No. 165: Duncan Campbell Letterbooks: Note to Campbell Letter No. 165: On 23 February, 1790, Neil Campbell, aged 66, Duncan's brother, died at Woolwich.  He had been Clerk of Survey to HM Warren, the Arsenal. He was buried on the 27th at Plumstead Churchyard, east of Woolwich, not far from the Thames. Thames historians inimical to Campbell have suggested Neil assisted Duncan with establishing the hulks, which may or may not have been the case in fact. The also suggest Neil himself had been assisted in obtaining his position by the Duke of Argyll. In 1790, Capt. Douglass was on Campbell's ship Lynx.

[28] Campbell's trade to India is little-mentioned in his Letterbooks as it was on his son John's account. Duncan had presumably provided John with capital.

[29] On slavery on Jamaica: Orlando Patterson, Sociology, earlier cited. The Africa Company charter was recalled in 1821 and the remaining possessions on the West African coast were given to Sierra Leone. On the anti-slavery movement, see Roger Anstey (Ed.), The African Slave Trade and Abolition. Vol. 2. Liverpool, Historical Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, 1976; James Pope-Hennessy, A Study of the Atlantic Slave Traders, 1441-1807. London, Wiedenfeld and Nicolson, 1963., pp. 274ff; Hall, West India Committee, pp. 7ff; James Walvin, Black Ivory: A History of British  Slavery. London, Harper Collins, 1992.

[30] Campbell to his son, Dugald Campbell, 3 Feb., 1790.

[31] Kennedy, Bligh, pp. 130ff on Bligh's return to London.

[32] By 1850 on Jamaica, breadfruit was fed to pigs and poultry. The slaves did not like it, though sometimes it has been used as an emergency food.

[33] Bligh to F. G. Bond on Boyick. Bligh referred to Boyick in this letter. George Mackaness, (Ed.), `Fresh Light on Bligh', p. 17, p. 35;

[34] I have explained Mackaness' use of the Campbell Letterbooks in my Commentary to Oldham, Britain's Convicts, pp. 251ff.

[35] Campbell's friend George Kinlock had paid the medical student's last bills after the death of Richard Betham, which had been kept a secret from the student until after he had graduated.

[36] I am grateful to Ann Harrison, an archivist at the Manx Museum Library, for assistance in researching Richard Betham, his death date, and providing material from the Atholl Papers Index. Mutineer Heywood later wrote to Betham, not knowing Betham was dead, bemoaning the events of Bounty's voyage, an indiscretion which can have put Bligh in no better humour about Heywood. Bligh once wrote to Heywood's mother about Heywood's "baseness".

[37] Duncan Campbell to Dr Campbell Betham, 19 March, 1790. Note: as in this chapter, and some following, Campbell's letters can tend to be scattered in both personal and business letterbooks, so I have simply noted them by date.

[38] Item: Betham R, 31-5-1789, X/5-30, H. Cosnahan to G. Farquar, applying for the post of Mr Betham who has now died. Records, Manx Museum Papers.

[39] Note to Campbell Letter 166: The young physician, son of Richard Betham, had been furnished by Campbell with letter of introduction to people at Whitehaven, who were also members of the British Creditors. It has been said (by D. Bonner-Smith, ''Some Remarks about the Mutiny of the Bounty', The Mariner's Mirror, Vol. 22, No. 2, April 1936., pp. 200-237., here, pp. 202-217) that Fletcher Christian had come from Whitehaven, a fact which may have whetted young Betham's appetite for news about  Bligh. Bounty mutineer Peter Heywood when he arrived back from the Pacific wrote a letter (greatly objected to by Bligh) to Richard Betham on the Isle of Man, about the mutiny. Heywood when he wrote did not know, as historians have not known since, that Betham by then had died.

[40] Duncan Campbell to Lt.-General Melville, 17 March, 1790. Presumably this was Robert Melville (1723-1806), LL.D of Edinburgh Univ., FRS, was promoted general in 1798. On Melville, see Alan Valentine, The British Establishment, earlier cited.

[41] Note to Campbell Letter No. 167: Duncan Campbell to Lt.-General Melville, 17 March, 1790.  Melville established a botanic gardens at St. Vincent in 1765.

[42] Melville incidentally has been mildly disputed in a Carron Company history as the inventor of the carronade gun, which was deadly at close range for naval warfare; it is a question of the use of prototypes versus an inventor's claim to a singular discovery.

[43] Gore: entry, USA National Union of Manuscripts Catalog. 66-51. R. H. Campbell, Carron Company. London and Edinburgh, Oliver and Boyd, 1961.

[44] On Fryer and others: Kennedy, Bligh, pp. 168, 231.

[45] Bligh's biographer, Kennedy, glosses this initial lack of sympathy for Bligh, in his Bligh, pp. 130ff.

[46] Quoted in H. S. Montgomerie, William Bligh of the `Bounty' in Fact and Fable. London, Williams and Norgate Ltd., 1937., p. 44. A. M. Harrison, archivist at the Manx Museum, kindly  forwarded to me a copy of the will of Richard Betham.

[47] Ferguson, Bibliography, pp. 34ff.

[48] Dawson, Banks Letters, p. 593.

[49] H. V. Evatt on the deposition of Gov. Bligh, earlier cited.

[50] Mackay, Exile, pp. 79-80, p. 97.

[51] In personality terms it is no surprise then, that Bligh and John Macarthur got on so badly in NSW when Bligh was governor. Macarthur, who suffered what his wife called "the old malady" could today be considered by a psychiatrist as an obsessive personality, grandiose, and further debilitated by bouts of paranoid enmity, with a habit of behaving as a vexatious litigant. Macarthur boasted that he was implacable to his enemies. He never really lost a major battle. But a paranoid personality has more energy than normal people for such jousts. Here, one can say that Macarthur died insane: Bligh did not.

[52] Glynn Christian, Fragile Paradise, p. 67.

[53] H.S. Montgomerie, Bligh in Fact and Fable, p. 269.

[54] On Lady Penrhyn's voyage: Ged Martin in Founding. p. 250. On largely unknown and relatively early shipping about Western Australia, see also, Rhys Richards, `The Cruise of the Kingston and the Elligood in 1800 and the Wreck Found on King Island in 1802', The Great Circle, Vol. 13, No. 1, 1991., p. 44. Also, A. K. Cavanagh, `The Return of the First Fleet Ships', The Great Circle, Vol. 11, No. 2, 1989., pp. 1-16.

[55] Arthur Bowes Smyth, The Journal of Arthur Bowes Smyth: Surgeon, Lady Penrhyn, 1787-1789 edited by P. J. Fidlon and R. J. Ryan, Sydney, 1979. A. K. Cavanagh, `The Return of the First Fleet Ships',  pp. 4ff. Also, David Howarth, Tahiti: A Paradise Lost. London, Harvill Press, 1983., pp. 143ff.

[56] The inconspicuous Curtis Island was named after Timothy and  William Curtis. Cumpston, Arrivals and Departures, p. 89, mentions whales off Macaulay Isle, seen by Atlantic whaler for Wilson and Co. in 1813, one of very few reports based around Macaulay Isle.

[57] Lloyd's Register, 1789.

[58] On 5 Oct., 1791, Henry Dundas wrote to the Governors of the South Sea Company asking them to license trading voyages by Alderman Curtis to the northwest coast of America - stating that "the objects of such Trade are considered by Government as of material importance". (HO 43/3, p. 320). (Information pers comm per Alan Frost, 18-11-1987). Stackpole, Whales, p. 131 records for 31 March, 1791, a letter of Enderbys, A. and B. Champion, Curtis and Co. and others, to the Board of Trade requesting apprentices in the South Whale Fishery be protected from impressment. 24 Aug., 1791 is the date of a letter from Timothy and William Curtis to the Court of the East India Company, that they are fitting out two ships and a cutter for the north west coast of America, and request the Court will grant a licence for one of their ships and the cutter. Afterwards to proceed to China with whatever they have taken or purchased, and are willing to enter into a Bond, that they shall not transport any European articles to China, or return to Europe with any merchandise, the produce of China. Source: Court Minutes of the East India Company, India Office Library, 197 Blackfriars Road, London. SEI 8NG. (Information per Michael Banks, pers comm 12-12-87).

[59] Bateson, The Convict Ships, p. 118.

[60] The first First Fleet ship to return to England was James Mather's Prince of Wales on 22 March 22, 1789. The dates of the return to England of some of the non-naval First Fleet ships were, in chronological order: Borrowdale on 13 April, 1789. Prince of Wales on 29-30 April, 1789. Fishburn, Deptford, 25 May, 1789. Scarborough, 1 June 1789. Alexander, 3 June, 1789.  Charlotte, 5 June, 1789. Golden Grove, on 5 June, 1789, Lady Penrhyn in August 1789. Friendship was scuttled. This information is courtesy of Mollie Gillen, pers comm. Capt. Marshall of Scarborough was employed by Camden Calvert and King to return to Sydney: Gillen, Founders, p. 430. Also A. K. Cavanagh, `The Return of the First Fleet Ships', pp. 1-16.

[61] Howarth, Tahiti, pp. 159ff. Kennedy, Bligh, pp. 56ff.

[62] Kennedy, Bligh, pp. 59ff.

[63] Howarth, Tahiti, p. 181.

[64] According to Ruth Campbell, `New South Wales And The Glocester Journal, 1787-1790', Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 68, Part. 3, Dec. 1982., pp. 169ff., Talbot brought news home of Lady Penrhyn's adventures. The Gloucester Journal's editors took great interest in convict handling. As a local matter, this may have been due to the work of the reforming JP, Gloucestershire magistrate Sir George Onesiphorus Paul, who is discussed in A. Cooper, `Ideas And Their Execution: English Prison Reform', Eighteenth-Century Studies, Vol. 10, No. 1, Fall 1967., pp. 73-93. On 16 May, 1787, Francis Masson at Cape Town consigned two boxes with 110 species of seeds for Joseph Banks, on Talbot Indiaman per Mr. Staples, Bengal consul; Carter, Banks, pp. 560ff, Appendix XIA.

[65] On Lt. Watts informing Tahiti that Cook was dead, see Kennedy, Bligh, p. 59, Note 2, p. 61.  Meanwhile it now seems hard to credit that Bligh would have known little about how and why Watts went to the Pacific (for Macaulay), and why he had stopped at Tahiti.

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